Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top 10 Video Special - The Devils Season That Was

This is the 10th installment of Down Goes Avery's Top 10 Video Series.  In this edition, I'll take a look back at the best moments from a bad Devils season in 2010-11.  Despite missing the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons and only the second time in 21 seasons, there were some memorable moments for the Devils.  Here's the top 10.  *Note: All YouTube videos taken from DevilsHQ and NHLVideo.

#10: Going out on top - The final regular season game of 2010-11 saw the Devils beat the Bruins, 3-2.  In that game, Alexander Urbom scored his first career goal, thousands of Nordiques fans made the Prudential Center sound like an arena in Quebec, Vladimir Zharkov shot a puck and didn't fire it into the crowd and Jacques Lemaire won in the final game he ever coached.  That's pretty least the Zharkov part.

#9: Eight Straight - The Devils' nearly historic run through the Eastern Conference last season featured an eight game winning streak, and the eighth win in a row came in Dallas, 1-0.  That game also extended Ilya Kovalchuk's point streak to 12 games in a row, with half a dozen game winning goals coming during that time.

#8: Opening night magic - It didn't take the Devils long to catch the John MacLean Plague that decimated the team for the first half of the 2010-11 season, but for the first 10 minutes of opening night, they looked dominant.  Here's Zach Parise's pretty goal off of an odd-man rush.

#7: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 1 - The Sharks were dominating the Devils at the Prudential Center, but minutes after tying the game in the third period, the Devils were able score the eventual game-winning goal on a shot that looked like it would only have space to get through Michael Leighton's five-hole...or Antti Niemi's blocker.

#6: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 2 - Two nights after losing the puck in the shootout with the game on the line, Ilya Kovalchuk had a chance to redeem himself against Edmonton.  The Devils rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to send the game to overtime, where after playing some catch with the puck, Kovy eventually sniped the Devils to a victory - a term that most Oilers aren't even aware of.

#5: Speed from a Swede - One of the world's fastest production cars originates from Sweden, as does one of hockey's young speedsters.  Mattias Tedenby got behind the Caps' defense like a wide receiver and drew his first career penalty shot.  This penalty shot goal was just one of the many highlights in this 5-0 win over Washington.

#4: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 3 - In the midst of the Devils' second half comeback in 2010-11, Ilya Kovalchuk became the dominant offensive player he showed himself to be in the past.  Here's one of his more decorated goals of the season, coming in overtime in Toronto, which also turned out to be Jacques Lemaire's 600th career win as a coach in the NHL.

#3: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 4 - After being 27 points out of a playoff spot at the season's halfway point, the closest the Devils got to the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference was 8 points.  That point came after this dramatic win over the Penguins.  Of course, it wouldn't be an overtime victory unless Ilya Kovalchuk had something to do with it, which he did.

#2: Hat Trick for Patrik Elias - Elias is approaching the Devils' franchise record for goals, and he already has the most points in franchise history, as well as the most hat tricks in history.  Last season, three goals were hard to come by as a team, let alone by one player in a game.  Here's Elias' eighth such hat trick, against the Flyers, late in the season.

#1: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 5 - Truth be told, there are few greater feelings as a Devils fan than beating the Rangers.  Shutting the Rangers out in a thrilling 1-0 game featuring the season's most exciting goal would top simply beating them.

What did I miss?  Think I missed something?  Have a better idea for a Top 10 Video Special or do you have something to say?  Leave a comment here or send me a tweet and let me know.